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Drone farmer arrest: Farmer convicted thanks to predator drone evidence

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What does a drone have to do with a farmer's arrest? On Jan. 29, NewsMax reported that it all started back in 2011 when Rodney Brossart was arrested after a neighbor complained that he wouldn't return cattle that wondered on to his property. When police arrived, Brossart started a fight and things got ugly. Police put warrants out for Brossart's sons but they wouldn't turn themselves in -- so the police got some additional help.

"Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke decided to take drastic measures — he called up the U.S. Border Patrol and dispatched a Predator drone to capture surveillance of the Brossarts' farmhouse. It's not clear how long the drone was used to gather evidence but the sheriff's office arrested five Brossart family members in November 2011," NewsMax reports.

Thanks to the drone, the farmer's arrest ended with a conviction. Last week, Brossart was sentenced to three years in jail. All of his sons were able to reach a plea deal with the prosecution -- they will all serve one year of probation and, upon completion, the misdemeanor charges against them will be dropped. Of course this case has caused quite a bit of debate because the drone used to scope out the premises was used without a search warrant. While many believe that the evidence collected from the drone should have been thrown out, the prosecution scored a "victory."

Do you think that drones will be used to catch criminals in the future? Do you think it's okay for drones to essentially spy on people without authorities having to obtain a search warrant?

Was this drone farmer arrest a glimpse into the future?

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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